The art market has been booming. Museum attendance is surging. More people than ever call themselves artists. Contemporary art has become a mass entertainment, a luxury good, a job description, and, for some, a kind of alternative religion.
In a series of beautifully paced narratives, Sarah Thornton investigates the drama of a Christie's auction, the workings in Takashi Murakami's studios, the elite at the Basel Art Fair, the eccentricities of Artforum magazine, the competition behind an important art prize, life in a notorious art-school seminar, and the wonderland of the Venice Biennale. She reveals the new dynamics of creativity, taste, status, money, and the search for meaning in life. A judicious and juicy account of the institutions that have the power to shape art history, based on hundreds of interviews with high-profile players, Thornton's entertaining ethnography will change the way you look at contemporary culture.
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by Sarah Thornton
by Stephanie Kallos
by Elmira Bayrasli
by Sarah Bird
by Sarah Strohmeyer
by Sarah Weeks
by Sarah Miller
by Sarah Dessen
by Sarah Dooley
"Tavia Gilbert is upbeat and crisp as she narrates ThorntonÕs ethnographic investigation of the modern art world. Thornton spends a day in each of seven different art environments: ChristieÕs auction house, an all-day MFA art critique class, the Basel Art Fair, the site of the Turner Prize in London, ARTFORUM magazine, Takashi MurakamiÕs art studio, and the Venice Biennale. It all involves dizzying amounts of money, self-conscious artists, pseudo-intellectual jargon, and provocative sculptures built by an army of workers. Gilbert keeps the listenerÕs attention as she adeptly delivers the sly humor and sense of wonder. ItÕs also an artistic trip around the world. Gilbert takes the smart route by only occasionally adopting an accent, but her choice does mean some loss of the international flavor, and one may forget that one is in Switzerland or Japan or Britain. A.B. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine"
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